Mary Page News

December 15, 2001

Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

News from the ML/IMRI

Thesis Defense

Timothy Kim, S.M., a student at the International Marian Research Institute, defended his S.T.L. dissertation, Magna Cum Laude, on December 15, 2001 at the Marian Library.  The title of his thesis, "Mary, the Model of All Christians in the Gospel of Luke: The Realized Eschatological Perspective on Discipleship to Jesus as seen in Mary as the Model-Figure (Lk 1-2) and Manifested by Various Characters in Luke's Parables."

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Current Exhibit

Over eighty Nativity sets from The Marian Library collection will be exhibited this season: Three Exhibits - Three locations

The Marian Library Gallery St. John /
Dayton Art Institute
UD Roesch Library bldg
300 College Park
4400 Shakertown Rd
456 Belmonte Park N.
Nov. 28 thru 2002
Mon. - Fri.,
8:30 a.m - 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 28 thru Jan. 13,
2002 Wed., Sat., Sun.,
12 noon - 4 p.m.
Dec. 17 - Jan. 15, 2002
Mon., Tues., Fri., Sat., Sun.,
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.,
Wed. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Telephone 229-4214 or 229-1431 for information.  There is also a description at URL:

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Alumni Update

Marjorie Yefchak, a recent student of IMRI, was cited in a Washington Post article about nativity scenes:

Marjorie Yefchak, overseer of the 900-creche collection at the Marian Library at the University of Dayton in Ohio, said credit for Nativity scenes usually goes to Saint Francis of Assisi. In 1223 in Rieta, Italy, using live animals, the monk staged what is believed to have been the first Nativity scene.

To see the complete article go to URL:

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Personal thoughts and reflections about Mary from our readers 

We've added a section to our Research and Publications section showing selected personal comments from our readers about the Virgin Mary.  Click here to see comments received within the past month.  From this page, feel free to submit your own personal thoughts on Mary.  

We also encourage our readers to submit their opinions on various styles of Marian Art through an on-line art survey.

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News from Around the World


John Paul II Entrusts Peace of World to Virgin Mary

At Open-Air Ceremony in Piazza di Spagna  

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 9, 2001 (

John Paul II expressed words of sadness and concern Friday when he entrusted the peace of the world to the Immaculate Conception. "Dark clouds gather on the horizon of the world," the Pope said. "Humanity, which greeted the dawn of the third millennium with hope, now feels overwhelmed by the threat of new and disconcerting conflicts." The Holy Father's words were part of a prayer he recited on his knees, before the historic statue of the Immaculate Conception, in Rome's Piazza di Spagna. "Peace in the world is endangered," the Pontiff said, as he prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is why "we come to you, Immaculate Virgin, to ask you to obtain, as an understanding and strong Mother, that spirits, freed from the smoke of hatred, be open to mutual forgiveness, constructive solidarity and peace." More than 10,000 people attended the open-air ceremony, including top city officials. The Holy Father proposed Christian commitment as a source of hope, given the current grave situation. "Every believer, in his own circumstances of life," must become a sign "so that all will see clearly that fidelity to Christ changes one's personal life and augurs for a future of peace, a better future for all," he concluded.

Virgin of Fatima Did Not Predict Sept. 11 Attacks, Vatican Aide Says

Denial of Rumors Circulating About the Third Secret

LISBON, Portugal, DEC. 10, 2001 (

The third Fatima secret did not include the announcement of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Vatican official told Portuguese radio.

Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on Friday told Radio Renascenca of an interview he had with the surviving visionary of the Fatima apparitions, Carmelite Sister Lucia, 95.

The interview is about to be published in L'Osservatore Romano. Archbishop Bertone met with Sister Lucia at the request of John Paul II, in order to learn the truth about rumors of new apparitions of the Virgin to the Portuguese religious. These rumors, which originated in Italy and France and have been circulating since October, claimed that the third secret of Fatima had not been totally revealed. The archbishop said he obtained "personally the denial of all those rumors and information."

"In a word, Sister Lucia denies all the rumors attributed to her," the archbishop told the Portuguese radio station. The Pope was immediately informed of the nun's denial. Sister Lucia's cloistered convent, the Carmel of Coimbra, has already published its own denial of the rumors, Archbishop Bertone said.

Virgin Mary Seen as a Model for All Muslims

Interview with Islamic Theologian Sherazade Hushmand 

ROME, DEC. 10, 2001 (

Muslims venerate Mary, the Pope reminded the faithful Sunday during his Angelus address. Iranian Muslim theologian Sherazade Hushmand affirms that view.

There are verses in the Koran that include a significant prayer to God by Mary's mother, Hushmand explained in this interview with Vatican Radio.

--Q: Of what significance is the figure of Mary to Muslims?

--Hushmand: She is very present in the Koran, which presents her, specifically, as Mary Immaculate. In the third sura, beginning with verse 34 and subsequent ones, the Koran speaks about this aspect of Mary, about her total purity.

Speaking of Mary, one of the verses talks about freedom. The woman of Hemram, who is Mary's mother, prays to God saying: "God, I dedicate to you the one I have in the womb, and I dedicate her so that she will be free, absolutely free."

This word is used only once in the Koran, and only for Mary. This freedom is an absolute freedom from all what might be seen as sin, evil, failure, weakness. Mary is pure of all this. Then comes God's affirmation: "I accept her."

--Q: Do all followers of Islam believe this?

--Hushmand: In Chapter 66, the last verse, 12, the Koran says: "Do you want me to give you a faithful example to follow, valid for all the world's believers?" Mary is proposed there as the example. This is very strong -- because not only is Mary an example and a symbol for Christians to follow, but also in the Koran, Mary becomes a symbol and model for all believers, also for Muslims themselves.

--Q: And what does this mean in everyday life?

--Hushmand: To have hope, to have a model to follow, to have such a pure woman to look up to and to go forward, a woman who had complete confidence in God. She is the example of confidence, total confidence in the Absolute, in the God who is Supreme Perfection and Beauty.

This is how we follow her, always having confidence, even in difficulties and in face of things we cannot understand.

Like her, who was asked to have a Son -- the Koran says -- without a material father, a physical father, and she trusted and went ahead. So, like her, we take her as model and trust God totally, including in difficult and hard moments of life.

Basilica of Guadalupe’s Web Page Activated by Pope

Most-Visited Shrine Will Now Receive Virtual Pilgrims

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 12, 2001 (

For the first time, a Pope has activated a Web page: the official Internet site of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. In a brief ceremony at the end of the general audience today, John Paul II pushed the key of a portable computer, inaugurating Web site

"With the new site, the message of Guadalupe can go even farther, helping those who search for meaning in their lives and reasons for hope," the Pontiff explained.

"Let us pray to Our Lady that this new form of communication make her consoling protection more widely visible, especially to the poor and marginalized and that, with the diffusion of the mestizo Guadalupan image, fraternity among races be given impetus, dialogue among cultures be increased, and peace be promoted," the Holy Father added.

The most-visited shrine in the world, the basilica in Mexico City attracts more than 20 million pilgrims a year.

Last Sunday, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, confirmed that John Paul II on Dec. 20 would recognize officially a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Juan Diego, the Indian who witnessed the apparitions. Blessed Juan could be canonized a saint next year.

Work on Nazareth Mosque Halted, for Now, Says Israeli

ROME, DEC. 12, 2001 (

Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres said his government has halted, for now, construction on the controversial mosque in Nazareth. "We are profoundly conscious of the concern of Christians over the construction of the Nazareth mosque, and we are trying to find a way not to wound this position," Peres said on the Telepace television station here. "For now, we have postponed the construction, with the objective of finding a compromise or an alternative," the Nobel Peace Prize recipient added. "We will do all we can, not to wound the feelings of the Christian world." He continued: "We have very much appreciated the Pope's appeal against terrorism, in the Message for the Day of Peace. He says that terrorism and kamikaze suicides are a sin against the Lord and against man. It is an ethical appeal."

Peres was visiting Italy on Tuesday to meet with political authorities. Scheduling conflicts ruled out a meeting with John Paul II, according to Peres and Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls.

6 Million Pilgrims Converge for Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Including Thousands from Chiapas

MEXICO CITY, DEC. 13, 2001 (

Some 6 million people visited the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City on Tuesday and Wednesday to celebrate the feast of the Virgin of Tepeyac.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered late Tuesday and early Wednesday in the shrine, located in the north of the Mexican capital, to sing the traditional "Las Mañanitas" to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas.

Many had traveled more than 1,000 kilometers in uncomfortable buses, carrying blankets, food and water, as well as banners and statues of the Virgin Mary.

Among the faithful was a group of Tzotziles Indians from the state of Chiapas. The leader of the group was José Sántiz Pérez, 43, a native of the community of Natipé Las Casas.

During their communal prayer, Sántiz appealed to all Indians in general to pray for Chiapas, and for peace, justice and reconciliation.

He was just one of the thousands of Chiapas pilgrims who, since Dec. 1, have traveled over the roads, paths and pavements of that state to be at the Virgin Mary's basilica to thank her and to pray to "the Mother of Mexicans" on her feast day, Dec. 12.

The church of Guadalupe was built at the request of the Virgin Mary herself, when she appeared to Indian Juan Diego in 1531, and left her image imprinted on his mantle. To date, no scientific studies have concluded how the image was imprinted.

On Dec. 20, John Paul II is expected to approve the decree officially recognizing a miracle attributed to Blessed Juan Diego. His canonization could follow next year.

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Marian Events  

This section lists all of the current Marian Events by geographical position.

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New Resources

We've added answers to two new questions submitted by readers.

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has been added to our Resources index.  The latest added was Dominican Republic.  Expect more countries to follow.  

Also, "Hail Mary!: Titles of Our Lady" has been restored to the Resources menu and a new feature, an on-line coloring book about Mary for children was added. 

We've posted memorials to three long-time faculty members who died recently:

Fr. Frederick M. Jelly, O.P.

Fr. Walter M. Brennan, O.S.M.

Fr. Théodore Koehler, S.M.

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Mary in the Secular Press

The director and editors of Mary Page under the auspices of the International Marian Research Institute do not necessarily endorse or agree with the events and ideas expressed in this feature. Our sole purpose is to report on items about Mary gleaned from a myriad of papers representing the secular press.

Commentary on Mary in various news articles from Nov. 29 - Dec. 13.

Among the articles appearing in the press in California and other states as well as Mexico: